Friday, March 10, 2023

True Confessions of a Scrapaholic -

It's March.  And when March rolls around, it's time for some Instagram fun with #IGQuiltFest put on by Amy of @Amyscreativeside.

Every day comes with a prompt.  Some of them fun, pulling instant entertaining responses from all participating.

Some thoughtful - asking things like "Why Do You Quilt?"  This you have to really think hard on, look deep inside to find what resonates.

The most fun is flipping through the hashtags at #igquiltfest2023 and meeting new folks, seeing different perspectives, and connecting with unknown people from around the globe.

Yesterday was about stash - how we store our stashes to make them useable for us.

Oh boy.

I didn't have time to clean everything up - and I just started taking photos and explaining -

This can also bring about feelings of guilt, shame, fear of judgement.

The top photo of this post - I just flung open the doors of the stash cabinet, and without straightening anything took a photo.

And yes, there are often piles and parts of projects in progress on every surface. I can't create if I am worried about keeping things perfectly clean and organized at all times. ⁣
In my world "Cleanliness is where creativity goes to die!"
Project bins on top.  Stash sorted mostly by color -looking "not too bad"

But the truth is that there are bins tucked everywhere, both here, at home at the cabin, and also in the garage at the inn of things that didn't fit the cabinets, and weren't things I wanted in the cabinets, but are still on hand for future projects.

In fact - that is what I spent Sunday doing - rearranging at the inn garage so everything was in view and I reconnected with what I had.

Not shown in this photo are also the big bins of strings sorted by color that I keep under the long arm waiting for the right string project to come along.

No guilt.  I paid for that fabric down to the last bit, and I will use it. When the time is right.

The floor needs vacuuming.

The strips over the take up roller on the longarm are ones I have recently cut down from scraps - I'm currently cutting from them, and the remainder will be stored in the Scrap User's System drawers below by color and by strip width when I ready to put them away.

I'm cutting more green and neutral for my current on-going project.

The table side of my longarm also doubles as a second cutting area - 

Fat Quarter Storage in the basement studio at home.

I didn't even bother to take the stickers from the bins. They don't peel off nicely so I just left them. (Whey do they make them that way?)  I suppose I could turn them so the stickers are toward the wall, but I don't care about aesthetics - it's about function for me.

Of course there are more neutrals than anything - that is where my love lies.

My biggest concern with my stash is dust and light.

I know loads of people with great looking studio spaces who keep everything out in the open with fabric wrapped on comic boards. It looks SO pretty.

But when I've tried that I end up with fade lines at the fold due to where my windows are - and yes - dust and lint.  So I keep my fabric contained behind cabinet doors, or in bins and drawers away from sunlight.

We all do what works best for us individually.

This was my yesterday!

And Lola found her happy place.

It was a full day of at the computer as I get things ready for Wednesday PDF pattern release for New River Star. 

What? You aren't done yet? 
You've been at it for days!

Yes I know, but I want it right.  And I'm now up to the outer borders with the drawing of graphics and taking step out photos. My plan is to have it wrapped up by tomorrow evening so I can enjoy the rest of my weekend.

Meanwhile next door:

There are beautiful projects happening with Gail's Quilt Buddies retreating at Quiltville Inn!

This Love Ring quilt has a beautiful plum solid as the background - it's gorgeous!

I like what I see happening here!

Wonky Wishes at work!

So much stitching and trimming!

Great colors!

Garlic Knots times four!

I love the red/white/blue happening!

And there is more to come!

Weather has definitely taken a turn, and it's foggy/rainy/yuck.  

But the quilters are all inside tucked in cozy and warm with plenty of food and loads of projects.

As for me - it's a dentist appointment day so the pattern writing will sit until I get back this afternoon and we'll see if I feel like it.

I may just crawl up into bedroom 5 for a nap! (Don't think anyone would mind, do you?)

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

No matter how large or how small, fill every corner with love. 

And fabric. More fabric! 

Have a wonderful Friday, everyone!



  1. Hi Bonnie! No guilt, shame ,or judgement! Your studio is FABULOUS and you are an inspiration to us all on organizing and collecting that which brings us such joy and creativity - fabric! I am in awe of all three pictures of your stash and how you have it so well organized and separated by yardage, fat quarters and strips. I'd love to do that myself, but don't have enough fat quarters or strings to do separate areas justice, and my stash of yardage is too big to put in one area alone that's my dilemma, where to put all the yardage. in addition to all the yardage, I have so many kits/projects that they actually need a separate area. That's what I'm attempting to do this weekend. Yep, spring cleaning time has come. Just too bad we lose an hour Saturday night when we set the clocks ahead.

  2. Anonymous10:04 AM EST

    I can't create if I am worried about keeping things perfectly clean and organized at all times. ⁣

    In my world "Cleanliness is where creativity goes to die!"
    I LIVE by these words Bonnie. Thanks for giving me permission to be creative.

  3. When we moved to this house a year ago, I was so disappointed that my sewing room (bedroom #3) was going to be the smallest sewing room I've ever had, so, consequently, I HAVE to keep things neat and tidy. I don't have much space so I'm trying to utilize it to be functional as well as a creative space. It's a challenge. I'm constantly re-arranging and looking for more useful storage. I have large windows and I'm concerned about light fading folded fabric, which has happened to me when we lived in AZ. I need two cabinets with doors like yours.

    1. I've got "double" cabs, with doors and need another three, but no place for them... picked 'em up at Home Depot, they have the single ones too... good stitching, and happy quilting... Cats in Carlsbad CA

  4. Oh thank you! I know its untidy but I know where most of it lives,

  5. I think you have found the perfect balance between chaos and sterile clean because your creativity knows no bounds. You are such an inspiration.

  6. I think your fabric is well organized and neat. I need to get some more cabinets like yours to store my fabric. We need to do what works best for us and not judge others on what they do or don't do. My husband is very neat and organized and he still can't find his stuff. I, on the other hand, have "organized chaos" but I can always find what I'm looking for.

    1. Anonymous4:30 PM EST

      There are two different kinds of organization: internal and external. If you are internally organized, your environment can be in chaos, but you know where everything is. (YOU) If you are externally organized, you can't function until your environment is neat, but you don't necessarily know where anything "is." (YOUR HUSBAND). I shared a room with my sister growing up. Her side was always neat, but she spent all her time straightening and didn't get anything else done; mine was messy, but I always knew where everything was and was able to focus on the task at hand...

  7. Laura B.10:55 AM EST

    I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one creating in plastic bin city!! The dust and sun are my number one enemies in my sewing room. Here's a tip to get those annoying sticky labels off your plastic bins....fire up your hair dryer and "slowly" start peeling one corner while you're directing the hair dryer in that area. It should come off without any residue.

  8. I am sort of organized. I have the strips organized by color and size. However, my sewing room looks currently like a cyclone hit it. I usually clean my sewing room when I am done with a project. The rest of the house gets cleaned continously because I have a dog and I like to live in clean house. I guess I can't get the German out of me, lol.

  9. I ❤️ your way of organizing. Just need to get my Go cutter set up so I can cut strips. No guilt here. Binding is calling me today. 2 weeks til Quilt Show... Happy Fri-Yay!

  10. Anonymous11:38 AM EST

    I'm glad I'm not the only one that creates in plastic bin city! Dust and sunlight are my number one enemies. Here's a tip to remove those annoying labels on plastic bins. Warm the label with your hair dryer and slowly peel the label away. It should not leave any residue.

  11. I'm with you about the state of the studio! Every once in a while I straighten mine out, but right now there are 2 scrappy projects under way, each one leading/ending the other: "Triple Treat" and a postage-stamp top -- soon to be joined by the Butter Churn block you designed for Quiltmaker's March/April issue. I don't buy quilt mags often, but this issue had "Stash-Busting" right on the cover, and I couldn't resist. It's still snowy and cold here in central Alberta, so scrappy stitching is simply the right thing to do!

  12. No shame from me.... I love looking at all your beautiful colors of bins and cupboards... it looks wonderfully organized and inspiring... I don't need that much fabric... only because I don't get to mine as often as you. I love what I have and hope to get to more of it when I can. You have every right to enjoy what you have and what you do with it. We love seeing what you are up to next! Hugs from Utah

  13. Anonymous1:31 PM EST

    I look at your storage and am jealous! The fact that I have more fabric that I can ever use in my lifetime doesn’t seem to factor into these feelings. It doesn’t make me feel unhappy just jealous. I would call your rooms “the envy rooms” and I say that with a smile. Happy quilting Bonnie. I love your blogs ❤️

  14. I would love to have a stash like that! Love all the colors and neutrals!

  15. I too am using bedroom #3 as my sewing room. Hubs made the closet all shelves so I can have large bins, one for each color and the top shelf is smaller bins for strips sorted by colors. 2 each, 1 darker bin and 1 neutral bin. I sew on a small table and use my old dining farm style table to cut and iron on. I even have the lower shelves in my hall closet for bins of layer cakes and charm packs. Since we are talking about fabric, why does the fabric of today unravel much more along the edges than the older fabrics? This is very frustrating to me. I'm retired so I get to sew everyday but the biggest roadblock for me is I don't longarm quilt and I am having a difficult time finding someone in my area that does. I have 12 quilt tops finished and I don't want to mail my unfinished quilt tops away somewhere to get finished. The shipping is expensive with everything that is going. Quilting is my Passion and Hobby and I come from a family of quilters from the old days using quilting frames. Sadly, they are all angels now. I love Bonnie's post to keep me up on everything quilting. She is the only Quilter I follow. Happy Quilting Everyone. Hugs

  16. I also keep my fabric stored away from light and dust. At the moment it lives in a storage room with no windows, but will eventually move to plastic bins in cupboards. I tend to cringe when I see those picture perfect displays with fabric exposed to light. We each do what works for us individually.

  17. I have some of my stash in bookshelves and hubby put up a curtain rail across the top. I have a curtain that hangs in front of the fabric to protect it from light, but I can draw it back when I need access. It works well for me.

  18. I love seeing all the ways you (and others) store and organize their fabric. No shame for anyone. We all have comfort needs. Ours happen to be our stashes!

  19. Anonymous11:18 AM EST

    I have shelves with fabric just like your fat quarters. With large binder clips on the top, I'm able to attach sheets as a cover. Easy to move aside when I want the fabric and helps keep away the light and most of the dust.

  20. I differentiate between tidying and cleaning. Too much clutter means I can't concentrate, so I put rulers and scissors and stuff away. Cleaning gets put off. Thanks for showing your current storage setup.


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